Gesias Calvancante and Shinya Aoki weigh-in for DREAM 1. Photo courtesy of FEG.
Less than a month after fans were left with a disappointing ending to a much-anticipated matchup between Gesias Calvancante and Shinya Aoki, Fight Entertainment Group has announced that the two lightweights will rematch at DREAM’s next upcoming event on April 29th.
The show, which will take place at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan, will also feature the opening round of DREAM’s first middleweight grand prix. Japanese legend Kazushi Sakuraba will return to action against Karate practitioner Andrews Nakahara in a quarterfinal bout. Additional scheduled fights include Masakatsu Funaki vs. Kiyoshi Tamura and Denis Kang vs. Gegard Mousasi.
Aoki and Calvancante’s bout last month was ruled a no-contest after Calvancante struck Aoki with illegal elbows to the back of Aoki’s neck. Calvancante was warned and Aoki given time to recover, but after a few moments the esteemed grappler wasn’t able to continue.
The two were originally set to face off at Yarennoka! on New Year’s Eve but Calvancante was forced to pull out of the fight after suffering a knee injury during training. The injury occurred on the same knee that he had surgery on this past fall.
FEG officials also revealed the next set of matchups for DREAM’s lightweight grand prix in May: Joachim Hansen will challenge Philadelphia Fight Factory product Eddie Alvarez, Tatsuya Kawajiri will meet Luiz Firmino, and Mitsuhiro Ishida will go up against Caol Uno, who has been added to the bracket as a late entrant.
The winner of Aoki-Calvancante will have no time to rest as they will go on to face Katsuhiko Nagata just twelve days later at the May 11th show.
Mirko Cro Cop is introduced before his bout against Josh Barnett at PRIDE Final Conflict Absolute 2006. Photo property of PRIDE FC Worldwide.
SAITAMA - Returning to one of his favorite venues, Mirko Cro Cop made it look easy tonight. The cool but lethal Croatian mixed martial arts superstar required a mere 56 seconds to dispatch Tatsuya Mizuno by KO at the DREAM.1 Lightweight Grand Prix 2008 1st Round.
Held before a sellout crowd at the Saitama Super Arena—with millions of Japanese television viewers watching live—DREAM.1 featured seven qualification bouts in the DREAM Lightweight (70 kg/154 lbs) class, along with a trio of open-weight fights. This was the inaugural DREAM production—but such is the talent on tap that fans have already dubbed DREAM one of the world’s finest mixed martial arts productions.
All bouts were fought under Official DREAM mixed martial arts rules, with a 10 min first and 5 min second round.
Probably the most highly-anticipated fight on the card featured 33 year-old Mirko Cro Cop, who took on Japanese judo fighter Tatsuya Mizuno. Cro Cop wasted no time here, firing in the low kicks from the bell, stepping forward to lock up Mizuno’s right arm then pumping in uppercuts and straight punches to deposit his opponent on the canvas in a heap of pain. Cro Cop leapt atop the unresponsive Mizuno for a ground and pound finish, leaving the referee no choice but to jump in and call it.
“A lot of fighters refuse to fight me these days, but he had courage and he accepted,” said Cro Cop afterward from center ring. “For my next fight, I will need a stronger opponent, so anyone is welcome!” Who will answer the call?
We will be going live at 1:00 AM EST with live results of K-1 Premium 2007 Dynamite!!, which is taking place at the Kyocera Dome in Osaka, Japan
The event is headlined by a main event between long-time Japanese veterans Kazushi Sakuraba and Masakatsu Funaki. Bob Sapp, “Kid” Yamamoto, Melvin Manhoef, and Ikuhisa Minowa will all be in action as well as annual Dynamite!! participants Bobby Ologun and Kiyoshi Tamura.
Be sure to leave comments throughout the morning.
Live results are shown after the jump.
John Chandler here again, breaking down Yarennoka! and K-1 Premium 2007 Dynamite!! fight-by-fight, including detailed predictions along the way.
Yarennoka! features the return of Fedor Emelianenko as he takes on K-1 kickboxer Hong Man Choi. The undercard includes Gilbert Melendez going up against Mitsuhiro Ishida and Kazuo Misaki battling with Yoshihiro Akiyama.
K-1 Premium 2007 Dynamite!! features an astounding total of 13 fights - 7 MMA bouts and 6 kickboxing matches. (I’ll only be previewing the MMA fights) The event is headlined by a main event between long-time Japanese veterans Kazushi Sakuraba and Masakatsu Funaki. Bob Sapp, “Kid” Yamamoto, Kiyoshi Tamura, Melvin Manhoef, and Ikuhisa Minowa will all be in action.
When Alfred Tennyson wrote “ring out the old, ring in the new,” the English poet was referring to the pealing of church bells to mark the beginning of a new year. It is also a Japanese tradition to strike the temple bell on December 31, but these days Tennyson’s phrase could just as easily be applied to the ringside bell at the Dynamite!! New Year’s Eve fight-sport extravaganza.
Over the last five years, K-1 Premium Dynamite!! has become one of the most widely-watched television productions in Japan, with estimates of up to 30 million viewers. This is fight-sport entertainment for the entire family, and tomorrow’s lineup is designed for maximum appeal. The evening’s 15 fights will feature wily veterans and wide-eyed teens; popular television “tarento” and foreign behemoths; and yes, more than a few match ups aimed at martial arts purists.
Seven bouts will be fought under Hero’s Rules (mixed martial arts), and eight under K-1 Rules (stand-up).
The Dynamite!! 2007 fighters met with the media this afternoon at the Osaka Imperial Hotel, to share their thoughts in advance of tomorrow night’s Kyocera Dome showdown.
K-1 parent company FEG held a press conference earlier today to announce three additional fights that will take place at K-1 Premium 2007 Dynamite!! at the Kyocera Dome in Osaka, Japan on New Year’s Eve.
Former PRIDE lightweight standout Joachim Hansen will face former Olympian Kazuyuki Miyata, Melvin Manhoef takes on Yosuke Nishijima in a battle of talented strikers, and Ikuhisa Minowa will fight Wagner da Conceicao Martins in an open-weight bout.
With the addition of the bouts, the card for the event currently looks like this:
Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Masakatsu Funaki
Sergei Kharitonov vs. Mighty Mo
Kid Yamamoto vs. Rani Yahya
Joachim Hansen vs. Kazuyuki Miyata
Melvin Manhoeff vs. Yosuke Nishijima
Ikuhisa Minowa vs. Wagner da Conceicao Martins
Former PRIDE standouts Gilbert Melendez and Joachim Hansen will both be competing at Yarennoka!, an event produced by officials associated with Dream Stage Entertainment, DEEP, K-1, and M-1 Global, that will take place on New Year’s Eve at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
Melendez was interviewed by Frank Trigg and company over the weekend where he revealed that he will be fighting Mitsuhiro Ishida at the event. While Hansen confirmed his participation with MMA Weekly, he was unable to provide any news on a potential opponent.
A press conference was held earlier today in Japan to officially announce a New Year’s Eve MMA event that will take place at the Saitama Super Arena, in Saitama, Japan.
Now I can’t speak a lick of Japanese so I can’t tell you who exactly the promoter is behind this whole thing but I’ll be able to find out later today.
The press conference was attended by a load of former PRIDE and DSE officials, including Nobuhiko Takada. Many of them will be involved in the running and production of the event. The event will be broadcast on SkyPerfecTV PPV and as of right now, there are no plans to have anything other than a Japanese-only broadcast.
Fighters that have been announced as officially competing at the event are Fedor Emelianenko, Hayato Sakurai, Shinya Aoki, Tatsuya Kawajiri, and Mitsuhiro Ishida. Other fighters that were mentioned as possibly competing at the event were Kazuo Misaki, Joachim Hansen, Ricardo Arona, Gilbert Melendez, Luiz Azevedo, and Hidehiko Hasegawa.
There was no mention of Hong Man Choi in any forum, leading more credibility to The Fight Network’s Brian Knapp and his report via Monte Cox that Hong Man Choi is not signed to fight Fedor and is nothing more than an option as of right now.
Cox mentioned a few details in terms of the lending out of Fedor by M-1. Fedor is set to be paid $1.5 million by the Japanese promotion and they are also responsible for choosing Fedor’s opponent:
“Part of the deal is that they choose the opponent,” Cox said. “They’re choosing an opponent that makes sense for the Japanese market.”
I’ll update this post whenever I receive more information on the press conference.
Eiji Mitsuoka def. Joachim Hansen - Majority Decision
Hiroyuki Takaya def. Antonio Carvalho - TKO
Eduardo Dantas def. Shinichi Kojima - Unanimous Decision
Megumi Fujii def. Kyoko Takabayashi - Unanimous Decision
Takashi Nakakura def. Yusuke Endo - Unanimous Decision
Takeshi Inoue def. Katsuya Toida - Unanimous Decision
Rambaa Somdet def. Masaaki Sugawara - TKO
Leandro Silva def. Masashi Yozen - Unanimous Decision
Shintaro Ishiwatari def. Hayate Usui - Unanimous Decision
MMA Weekly is reporting that Joachim “Hellboy” Hansen will finally return to active competition when he takes on Eiji Mitsuoka on November 8th at Shooto: Back to our Roots 6.
Hansen lived in his own personal hell for close to nine month this year while he awaited the remainder of his acquired Zuffa contract to run out since they apparently refused to match the same salary he made while over in Japan. Hansen last fought at PRIDE 33 in February where he submitted Jason Ireland with an armbar in the third round.
Mitsuoka is 2-1 so far in 2007, defeating Brian Cobb and Takumi Nakayama while dropping a close split decision to Koutetsu Boku. Mitsuoka also owns wins over Gerald Strebendt and Gleison Tibau throughout the course of his career.
Hansen’s Shooto contract is only a one-fight deal.